By G. Michael Dobbs
SPRINGFIELD – The crowded field for the First Hampden Hampshire District state Senate seat now being filled by Gale Candaras is getting even more competitive with the entry of City Councilor Timothy Allen.
Allen announced on Feb. 14 that he would run for the Senate.
“I’m a big believer in Springfield. I’m a big believer in this region. It would be an honor to represent this part of Western Massachusetts,” Allen told Reminder Publications
Allen was originally elected to the council in 2009 and said, “I’m very happy being on the City Council. I’ve had great assignments and work with great people.”
He hadn’t really considered a bid for the Senate, but decided to run when he saw “the opportunity had arisen to represent my city and region.”
Allen came to the council with a background that included being a special education teacher for three years, 27 years at MassMutual and five years working at a non-profit. He is now teaching at Springfield College and at the Elms College. He believes his varied work experience sets him apart from the other candidates.
His management of people and budgets at MassMutual helped prepared him to work on the city’s budget, he explained.
“I understand the importance of education, public safety and neighborhoods,” he said.
Allen worked as a councilor to support the Springfield library system and was presented the Massachusetts Library Association’s Library Advocate of the Year Award in 2013. He is currently advocating the Diocese of Springfield to commit to building a new Cathedral High School on the grounds of the building that was destroyed by the June 1, 2011 tornado.
He has also been critical of a proposed biomass plant in the city and worked on a new zoning ordinance for Springfield.
As a senator, Allen said, “The main thing would be fighting for Western Massachusetts; insuring Western Massachusetts is not forgotten.”
He added, “The economic turn-around hasn’t occurred here. We need to get jobs here and improve the economy for the city and the region.”
Allen worked on the tax incentive arrangement form Smith & Wesson that has resulted in about 500 new jobs.
Her acknowledged the different communities in the district, which include parts of Springfield, Chicopee, Ludlow, Belchertown, East Longmeadow and Granby have different needs and that he would “fight for all of the towns.”